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Joe's Fishing Hole: Changing weather puts damper on fishing this weekend
Joe’s Fishing Hole

Joe's Fishing Hole: Changing weather puts damper on fishing this weekend

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Fish Camp events

What a difference a week makes. Last weekend in the 70s for daytime highs and this Sunday the daytime high is expected to be in the mid-30s with an overnight low in single digits! Don’t worry, it’s forecast to be back into the 60s by Wednesday.

We will be moving from a large high pressure system that has been holding over the Great Basin to a series of small low pressure systems moving through over the weekend. What does this weather change mean to anglers?

Fishing may slow down as the abrupt change in temperature and pressure may turn the fish bite off a bit. As another high pressure system starts to move in on Monday, fishing should start picking back up again.

The major change in temperature also means that surface water temperatures will start moving down towards the high 40s. Aquatic vegetation and algae will definitely start dying off and the water will clear. One good wind event and vegetation on many waters won’t be an issue for a while.

The upshot is that shore anglers will be catching fish as the vegetation clears out and the fish have moved into the shallower water.

NDOW will be holding a virtual after school Kids Fishing Camp next week. With Zoom sessions at 3:00 and 4:30 each afternoon, youth (and parents) will learn about basic fishing gear and techniques, Nevada game fish, fish hatcheries and conservation, watch a trout dissection live and a whole lot more.

NDOW will also be having an evening session each day for the grownups at 7:00 pm. Topics include the Nevada Native Fish Slam, northeastern Nevada fishable waters and northwestern Nevada fishable waters.

You can participate in one or all of them. Go to NDOW’s FaceBook page for more information and the links to attend these great events. Youth who attend at least one of the afternoon sessions each day will receive a certificate of completion and an NDOW giveaway.

Wildhorse

Surface water temperatures pushing 50 degrees and the algae and vegetation are quickly disappearing. Trout fishing has been spotty, with anglers having both good and bad days. Fishing for perch is still good for numbers and fair to good for size. Bass fishing is fair. Find the perch and you should find the bass as they fatten up for winter. The usual PowerBait and worms for bait anglers have been working for trout. For fly fishermen midge larva, hares ears, and PT nymphs are good patterns to use under an indicator.

Black or olive wooly and crystal buggers are taking fish as well if you can get them deep enough. Balanced leeches under an indicator have also been effective, especially if there is a chop on the water. Most anglers are fishing Penrod and Hendricks arms. However, when fishing is slow in the arms, anglers should move out to the main body of the lake, especially the south end. Target perch in just about any cove with some vegetation.

Fly fishing anglers fishing the river below the dam need to switch to subsurface flies such as nymphs and streamers. Silver or white minnow imitations have been working in the stream for spin anglers, but with shallow water fish the deeper pools and runs. Anglers may keep one black bass 15-inches or longer.

The lake has been stocked with more than 20,000 eight to 10-inch rainbow trout over the past few weeks. The campground is open and is on a first come first served basis but is limited to 50% of capacity. Tribal land around the lake is open to camping.

SOUTH FORK RESERVOIR

Anglers report good fishing for trout at, especially at the south end and in the larger coves. Bass fishing is slowing down but anglers continue to catch nice sized bass. Surface water temperatures are dropping into the low 50’s and will soon be in the 40’s. Fly fishermen are catching fish at the south end of the lake along the dying weed beds using black or brown leech patterns, as well as snail patterns, fished with an intermediate sink line. They also continue to have success fishing chironomids (midge larvae) or small nymphs in black or red under an indicator. Fishing snow cones and midge larva a foot off the bottom in four to 10 feet of water is working well. Fishing mud bottoms with these presentations on the northwest side of the lake has been effective. Trout are moving into the coves as the water cools and fishing from shore has definitely improved. Bait anglers have had success using nightcrawlers with a bit of PowerBait or a marshmallow to help them float off the bottom. Bass fishing has been fair to good for both smallmouth and largemouth using soft plastic baits in dark colors near structure. Fishing below the dam in the river has been slow with very low flows. The state park campground is open at 50% of capacity. South Fork was stocked with approximately 26,000 nine to 10 inch rainbow trout over the past couple of weeks.

JIGGS/ZUNINO RESERVOIR

The water level is very low and muddy and fishing is poor. Due to low hot water this summer there was a trout die-off so trout fishing is nonexistent at this time. NDOW is not planning on planting trout here this fall due to the low water levels. No report of anglers fishing here, so no report on any bluegill or bass but expect poor fishing.

WILSON RESERVOIR

The water level is average for this time of year and surface water temperatures have dropped into the low 50’s. Fishing is to good for 12 to 15-inch trout and bass fishing is fair. Just like other reservoirs, the trout are moving up in the water column and into shallower water. Black leeches have been working for both trout and bass along the weed beds. Chironomid patterns are also working for trout. Black or dark green spinners with contrasting spots are working for spin fishermen. For the most part, the same presentations that are used at South Fork, should work here.

RUBY LAKE NWR

The water level is very low and weeds are thick in the south marsh, but you can still launch a boat at the main boat landing. The boat dock will be removed soon, if not already by the time you read this. However, launching anything but a canoe or kayak at the Narciss boat launch is not recommended. Bass fishing is just fair with the cooler weather and water though larger bass are caught this time of year. The best tactic continues to be four-inch soft plastic jigs rigged weedless. Just fish them more slowly than during the heat of the summer. Dark colors such as black, blue, motor oil and guacamole with flashy flakes in them seem to work the best. Fishing is good for 10 to 13-inch trout at the collection ditch which has been planted with approximately 7,000 trout over the past few weeks. Water level in the collection ditch has improved and large browns and tigers are on the prowl during this fall spawning season. Small brightly colored spinners were doing well. Anglers need to switch to sub-surface flies such as leech patterns, wooly buggers or crystal buggers. Other flies working include the usual small nymphs such as PT’s, hares ears, olive soft hackles, red or blue copper Johns, prince nymphs and egg patterns. In the crystal, clear water of the collection ditch, if you can see the fish, they can see you. Go low, slow and wear drab clothing.

JAKES CREEK/BOIES RESERVOIR

Little or no change here. The water level is down due to irrigation, but normal for this time of year. Weeds are dying off and one good windy day will help shore fishing. However, anglers should still plan on fishing from a small boat or float tube and cast back towards the weeds for both bass and trout. Both bass and trout fishing is fair to good though bass fishing is slowing. The usual PowerBait and worms as well as small spinners are working for trout. Fly rodders should be using chironomids, hares ears, PT nymphs, copper Johns, and black or olive wooly buggers. Bass are hitting soft plastics, crankbaits and occasionally poppers first thing in the morning or late in the evening.

COLD CREEK RESERVOIR

The water level is low but fishing is fair to good for both trout and bass. Best times seem to be early morning here as the trout can be seen taking insects off or just below the surface. Worms, PowerBait, small spinners and flies should all work if the fish are cooperating. Small dark colored dry flies first thing in the morning are working. Griffith’s gnats, black gnats, black Adams and ant patterns should be tried. During full light, use subsurface presentations. Approximately 2,000 nine-inch trout were planted in Cold Creek Reservoir last week.

CAVE LAKE

Very little change here as fishing at Cave Lake has been fair to good for eight to 10-inch trout, with very low water levels due to a drawdown due to concerns with the dam. The usual small nymphs and crystal buggers are working for trout, with beadhead pheasant tail nymphs being very effective. For bait anglers, fishing a worm about four feet below a bobber or using powerbait floated off the bottom with a slip sinker seems to be the best bets. The float tube launching area is closed and anglers should fish at the north end of the lake near the dam and main boat launch area.

COMINS LAKE

Comins Lake has water temperatures in the low 50s and both trout and bass fishing are fair to good. Fly fisherman should use wooly buggers, leech patterns, and nymphs patterns (midges, beaded pheasant tails…etc.) fished under an indicator. Bass fishing is still good and anglers are reporting decent sized bass using soft plastics, crankbaits and poppers on quiet evenings and mornings. If you catch a pike, please check to see if it has a radio transmitter tag near the tail. If it does, please return the fish to the water so that NDOW biologists can track its movements. If it doesn’t have the transmitter tag, please humanely dispatch the fish. Don’t put it back in the lake. Comins Lake was stocked with approximately 4,700 nine inch trout this week.

ILLIPAH

Water surface temperatures are dropping into the low 50s and trout fishing is good. The usual flies like wooly buggers, prince nymphs, hares ears and chironomid patterns should all work. Small spinners, PowerBait and worms should be effective as well. The brown trout in the lake will start heading into the stream for the fall spawn over the next few weeks, so anglers may want to target the south end of the lake where the stream enters the lake. Illipah was stocked last week with approximately 4,900 rainbow trout averaging eight to 10 inches.

ANGEL LAKE

Fishing has been fair to good all summer and should be good as the trout start to prepare for the long winter under the ice. Expect ice along the shoreline in the mornings this weekend. The usual worms under a bobber or PowerBait fished off the bottom with a slip sinker are working as are small spinners and rooster tails. Give the spinners and rooster tails a few seconds to sink before starting to reel them in. If using a bobber, put your bait about 18-inches to two feet below the bobber. For fly rigging a dry and a dropper is still working. Good flies for the dry are hoppers, yellow stimulators and humpies. Yellow or red seem to be the colors that work best for dries and olive or peacock for the droppers. When the lighter patterns aren’t working, switch to black gnats, black or olive Adams and elk hair caddis, or Griffith’s gnats. Wet flies to try, include flashback PT nymphs, small black or olive wooly or crystal buggers, olive or peacock soft hackles, red/silver zebra midges, hares ears and small leech patterns. Angel Lake has been stocked with approximately 3,300 catchable sized trout this fall.

ALPINE LAKES

With the hot dry weather, access to the alpine lakes in the Ruby Mountains and East Humboldt’s is good. However, with below freezing temperatures at night expect ice first thing in the morning on the higher elevation lakes, especially those with northern or eastern exposures. As we get closer to November these lakes should start freezing over. The fish in these high mountain lakes are very cooperative and the further you get from the trailhead the better the fishing. With shorter days the fish are putting on the feedbag anticipating the long winter ahead. Bait anglers will find that, as a general rule, worms seem to work better than PowerBait. Small spinners in dark colors with light contrasting highlights, as well as small panther Martins and rooster tails also are effective. For flyrodders small yellow or red dry flies such as stimulators, hoppers, elk hair caddis and humpies with a soft hackle or other nymph dropper is the way to go. In low light conditions darker colored flies such as black gnats, ants, beetles and Griffith’s gnats should be used. Small wooly or crystal buggers in black, purple or olive should also be effective. Be prepared for nights well below freezing if camping at these elevations.

STREAMS

The colder water temperatures and nights below freezing have shut off most hatches in area streams.. Fishing continues to be good at the beaver ponds in Lamoille Canyon and other streams in the area, especially those that hold tiger, brook or brown trout. Most streams in eastern Nevada have below average flows so anglers will want to target beaver ponds, deeper runs and plunge pools when fishing them. Brown and brook trout are on the move and this is the time to target these fish. There is very little change in stream flows in the area. As of October 22, the East Fork of the Owyhee was flowing at a rocking 72 cubic feet/second (cfs), the Bruneau River at 12 cfs, the Jarbidge at 5 cfs, Salmon Falls Creek at 45 cfs, Lamoille Creek flowing at a very low 1.4 cfs, the South Fork of the Humboldt at 7 cfs, Cleve Creek at 6 cfs, Steptoe Creek at 3 cfs and Kingston Creek at half of normal at 2.5 cfs.

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